The third aspect of guitar control is perhaps the most powerful, and this is what I call the “brain-to-hand” connection. It is the most raw and abstract skill for improvising. It all starts with the energy of inspiration, which comes from within. What you feel in your heart and hear in your head
is simply played directly, without thought, without any considerations.
We can improvise freely with our vocal chords by singing pitches – but why is it so much harder to do it on the guitar?
It’s because our vocal chords are a part of our physical body – so there is nothing in between to get in the way. With the guitar, we somehow have
to know the right pitch and how to find it on the fret board. This requires some serious ear training. The most direct way of recognizing pitches that you hear in your head is to develop the ability to know the pitches themselves. This skill is called “perfect pitch” or “absolute pitch”. This takes (1. Knowledge of how to train your ear in this manner and 2. Either a partner or a computer program to drill you). Thankfully, both of these issues are solved for you by tone tutor, which you can get free access to when you sign up for Killer Guitar Control Secrets.
The next kind of ear training is relative pitch training – which essentially
means getting good at recognizing which degree of the scale you are hearing over the chord progression.
For example, take a simple 12 bar blues progression. It is fairly easy to distinguish when you are hearing the root of the progression. Then it becomes a matter of learning the other important pitches such as the fifth
degree. It just takes practice. Besides ear training, there are a number of other things you can do to improve your brain-to-hand connection.
One exercise you can do is simply to practice getting good at nailing the first note of a phrase that you are imagining in your head. I call this the “first note” exercise. Its very powerful because once you hit the first note, often the rest of the phrase falls under your fingers.
But, there’s many other exercises you can do. There was a time when I focusing specifically on developing the brain-to-hand connection. I was playing lead guitar in a band at the time, and get this. I refused to know or learn what key I was playing in. And I played some very inspiring and powerful leads.
However, occasionally I would get lost. Eventually, I learned how to play totally from the heart, yet still feel grounded by the knowledge of the fret board. I was able to integrate the two, and also use my technique to serve the purpose of expression. Other exercises you can do for the brain to hand connection:
– Seperate left and right hand practicing.
– Singing along with what you play
– Focusing on various rhythmic groupings
And there are MANY other techniques that I cover inside my DVD course – for example, just one of them is the “In and Out” technique that will get you closer to playing from the heart by pushing you closer and closer to what you really want to play.